William F. Thomas was one of the founders of the British sewing machine industry. It was he in late 1845 purchased the British rights to Elias Howes patent for 250, he also employed Elias Howe for nearly two years specifically to produce a machine capable of stitching corsets. Howe failed to produce a working machine and unsuprisingly he left the firm.

William Thomas and his son however persevered and went on to design and produce a highly sucessful range of industrial sewing machines many of which were produced under licence by other sewing machine manufacturers.

The firm went through various name changes and eventually became the Thomas Manufacturing Co. Ltd in 1899 witha factory at 11 Clerkenwell Close Ltd. It seems to ave ceased trading around 1906.


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Bradbury & Co.
Busy Bee
Sewing Machine Co.
The Franklin
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Heron,
Gresham & Craven
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Ideal
Sewing Machine Co
Imperial
Sewing Machine Co.
Jones & Co.
Kimball & Morton
Moldacot Pocket
Sewing Machine Co.
Newton Wilson & Co.
The Royal
Sewing Machine Co.
William
Sellers & Co.
Shepherd, Rothwell
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Singer
Sewing Machine Co.
Smith, Starley & Co.
Tailor Bird
Sewing Machine Co.
W. F. Thomas & Co.
Universal Sewing Machines Ltd
Varley & Co.
Vickers Ltd.
Edward Ward
James Weir
Oldham
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Thomas's

Registered Shuttle Serial No. 22250.

Made by W. F. Thomas & Co. 1 Cheapside, London c1865 - 1870 the "A" Registered Shuttle was one of Thomas's few forays into producing a domestic hand sewing machine during the 1860's and 1870's.

Unfortunately this example is in poor condition having lost most of its gilt, although the registered design mark for February 1863 and the serial number can still be made out.

On early versions such as this example the castings feature holly leaves and it would originally have been adorned with red holly berries and gold, later examples have simplified castings and are much plainer.

Thomas's